Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Mantel

Christmas, Christmas time is here! I sure do love looking at all my Christmas decorations, but I can't stand getting them out and deciding where they should go! It seemed like it took me forever to get things ready this year. I already dread getting things all packed away in a few short weeks...I'm one of those that has to put my decorations away the second Christmas is over. I have to have my house back in order ASAP!
I'm so happy that I have a "mantel" to decorate this year! Making my own cafe shelves was the best thing for displaying my seasonal decor! For my Christmas mantel, I shopped my Rubbermaid containers full of Christmas decorations and used what I had. There are only a couple of new things on this mantel that I did not already have!

I've had my glittery, red wreath for quite some time now. It used to be my "front door wreath", but I thought it would look great on my mantel this year.

A mantel is not complete without some glittery ornaments.

I added some curly Q's that I used on my Christmas wreath to my WUSLU bottles. These bottles are turning out to be quite versatile!

Here is one of my new items! A well dressed pug ornament I found at TJ Maxx! Couldn't pass him up!

I have a thing for Santas...

I have so many Santas that I think I'm going to do an all Santa tree next year! You'll see many, many more Santas when I show you my tree!

I'll be sharing my mantel at this fun blogger block party!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Puffy and Personalized Christmas Wreath

Have you seen all the fun, "puffy" Christmas wreaths out there in blog land? I've been wanting one for awhile now, but I didn't want to pay a lot for one. I also didn't think I could make one and have it look the way I wanted. Well, I got over that and decided to make one using some ribbon I bought at Michael's on clearance after Christmas last year. The ribbon is firm and bendable, so I thought it would make a good wreath. I also plan to use it on our Christmas tree. I decided to use two different colors of ribbon to give the wreath a fun look. This wreath was surprisingly easy to make! I am no longer intimidated!
All you need is your ribbon of choice (make sure it “bends” and holds its shape), wire wreath form, and some coordinating pipe cleaners or floral wire.

To begin, I cut my pipe cleaners in half so the ends wouldn't be so long when I tied the ribbon down. To make your loops, all you do is loop a section of ribbon and then twist the pipe cleaner to secure the "bend" of the ribbon to the wreath form from the back. You can see it better in the pic below. I was a little worried as I started out on the wreath because it was looking skimpy, but once I added in several more layers, it turned out great!

Here's the wreath with all the ribbon attached! I ended up going around the wreath twice with each color ribbon. I went around with the green ribbon, then the red, then the green again, then the red for the last layer.  With each layer, I worked it into the other ribbon for the layered effect. I didn't even use all of the ribbon on the rolls!

My wreath needed a little personalization, so I painted an "M" green and then added some white dots. I drilled a hole up in the corner of the M before I painted it, so I could attach it with a pipe cleaner.

Those of you who have known me personally for longer than a day know that I am not the least bit artistic! I used to get panicked when I had to go to art class as a child! Most kids love art class, but I dreaded it! I'm a math, English, and science girl, so the fact that I actually painted something with craft paint is HUGE! (Painting furniture is totally different!) My dots are horribly uneven, but I'm still proud.

Here's the wreath with the M attached and ready to be hung on the front door.

I added a few "curly Q's" after I got the wreath on the front door. It needed a little something extra! I think the wreath looks great against the yellow door!

The curls totally make the wreath!

I love my new wreath!

For any of you paying super close attention, yes we still have a storm door. I propped the storm door open and hung the wreath directly on the front door just for the pictures. The wreath actually hangs on the storm door, but it makes for horrible blog pictures with the glare!


Linking up to these fabulous parties! Tatertots & Jello, Between Naps on the Porch, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Serenity Now, Mommy By Day Crafter By Night, The 36th Avenue, The DIY Showoff, Today’s Creative Blog, At the Picket Fence, Home Stories A to Z, Gingerbread, Remodelaholic, Thrifty Décor Chick, The CSI Project, Beneath my Heart, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Perfectly Imperfect, One Artsy Mama, Hi Sugarplum

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Week I am Loving…{Elf on the Shelf edition}

Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I can move onto Christmas! I am very strict on not putting out Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving is over. One holiday at a time! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of the focus on being thankful and being with family. I love Christmas too, but I hate that the focus has turned to elaborate gift giving and not the real reason for the season: Jesus Christ.

I have challenged myself to remember why we celebrate Christmas and to remind E in a simple way this year. I don’t want her growing up focused on presents and asking Santa for gifts. It sure is fun to see her get excited about Santa though, and we will definitely have our share of magical moments! We will be adding an Elf on the Shelf to our traditions this year, so I have compiled some resources for some fun ways to use your Elf, if you have one. If not, it’s still neat to see how creative everyone can be!

101 Elf on the Shelf Ideas!
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This site has some really original ideas with photos, including stuffed animal spin the bottle! Hilarious!
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15 more Elf on the Shelf ideas from
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Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? What are some of your favorite ideas? I don’t know how crazy we will get with our Elf this year since E is only two, but I’m keeping all these ideas pinned for future reference!

I'll be back on Monday to show you my new DIY Christmas wreath for my front door!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for my wonderful blog buddies!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Yellow Door, Yellow Door, What do you see? (Corrected Post)

*Update: I'm so sorry if you could not see the "after" pics when I posted this last week (silly Blogger). It should be all fixed now if you don't mind taking another look!

I've been contemplating painting our front door for a couple of years now. Before we replaced our exterior doors a few years ago, I had painted our front door black to match our shutters. We had white, steel doors installed, and I have been reluctant to paint the front door since (very unlike me!). Well, I finally got over it! The white wasn't bad, but it just didn't have the pop of color I've been wanting for our front door. I didn't want to do boring black again and have it blend in with the rest of the houses in our neighborhood. I had thought about red, but our house is red brick, so that wouldn’t look good either. So, what did I do? I painted the front door yellow!
I decided on Glidden's Goldenrod in semi-gloss. It was the first yellow I was drawn to while standing in front of all the swatches. After removing all the hardware, I primed the door first to make sure the paint would "stick". Then I brushed and rolled on several thin coats of paint. It really killed me that I couldn't spray paint the door! That would have been too much trouble for such an easy project.
Here was my set up last Sunday afternoon. I completed this while E was napping. I left all the hardware off the door for the rest of the day and did not close the door until the following day. I was really worried about it sticking. (And yes, Jessie, my front door was unlocked and wide open or cracked for a solid 24 hours! Ha!)

You will always find two lazy dogs lying around while I'm painting.

Here's the finished, outside view! The storm door has a horrible reflection in the picture, but it still allows the yellow to shine through!

View from the walkway. You definitely notice the new color when driving by! Ours is definitely the only yellow door on our street!

Here's a before shot of the porch with the plain, white door. Now that it’s yellow, the white door looks so plain and sterile.

Inside view of the door. Our front door is always open when I'm home, so the yellow really helps to brighten up the room. I love all the natural light the storm door lets inside, and the dogs love to lay in the morning sun.

Have you painted your front door a fun color?


Linking up to these fabulous parties!
Tatertots & JelloBetween Naps on the PorchMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaSerenity NowMommy By Day Crafter By NightThe 36th AvenueThe DIY ShowoffToday’s Creative BlogAt the Picket FenceHome Stories A to ZGingerbreadRemodelaholicThrifty Décor ChickThe CSI ProjectBeneath my HeartCrafty Scrappy Happy, Perfectly Imperfect

Monday, November 14, 2011

Drop Cloth Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Oh, you have no idea how excited I am to share our new headboard with you! A couple of weeks ago, I asked y’all for your opinion on a tufted vs. nailhead headboard. The overwhelming choice was NAILHEAD! I was leaning that way too, so y’all just sealed the deal. I completed this project in one day a little over a week ago during E’s naptime and then after she went to bed. It really was so easy as long as you have the right tools.
Here’s a quick reminder of how the old headboard looked. It was a very pretty headboard, just too big and bulky for the room. I pulled out a really old pic of our room with the old drapes and old bedding so you could REALLY appreciate the transformation! What was I thinking with that bedding? Oh my!
After! Doesn’t it look so much lighter and brighter (and look great with my new Roman shades)? I am in love with it. I walk by the room and just stare. It has made such a huge difference in how the room feels. Read on for the tutorial, price breakdown, and LOTS more pics!

We found a piece of fiberboard at Home Depot for $10 and had them cut it to our specifications of 78”x45” for our king size bed. I knew I wanted the headboard notched out on the corners, so I made a template from a piece of standard printer paper and traced it on both sides of the board. The notch is 11 inches wide and 8.5 inches long. I just drew a curve from one corner of the paper to the other. 

Then I got to cutting with my new jigsaw! It is so easy to use and fun. Ben is scared I’m going to get too excited while using it and cut off a finger…

My fabric for this project was a drop cloth! I bought two of them a couple of months ago with plans to stencil them and use as curtains. That didn’t happen after I realized it would be the perfect neutral fabric for my headboard. And even better, they were only $10 each! To use a drop cloth as fabric, make sure you wash it with a good amount of fabric softener and then iron it really well. I purchased 5 yards of 1/2 inch thick batting from JoAnn’s to use as my padding. Foam is too expensive, and I figured two layers of batting would be plenty (and it was).

This project is so much easier if you have a nice long work surface. Luckily, our dining room table fit the bill. I laid my drop cloth (wrong side up) down first, then two layers of batting, and then my headboard.

My batting was barely wide enough to staple to the headboard, so I stapled each piece separately. This took a little more time, but I had to really stretch each piece to have enough material to staple down. After the batting was secure, I went back and stapled the drop cloth down. LOTS of stapling! 

Here it is all ready for some nailhead trim!

I ordered my trim from Beacon Fabric, and it was $20 for a 10 yard roll. This stuff is so easy to work with! I am so glad I did not get individual nailheads. I would have pulled my hair out! Do be careful though when stretching out the trim. I think I got a cut on each one of my fingertips on my left hand. Ouch!

I started at the bottom left of the headboard and worked my way around. You pound in a nailhead with a rubber mallet every 5th head. There’s a small hole so you know exactly where to put the nailhead.

The corners were a little tricky, but the trim cuts easily with some heavy duty scissors.

I figured out a little late in the game that it was easier to get a straight line with the trim if I went ahead and stretched it all the way across and nailed the end down. I then went back and filled in the rest of the holes. Live and learn, my friends. It’s also easy to go back and pop out any unruly nailheads. You can see a couple in the pic below. The nail stem bent a little when hammered in, so I popped them out and replaced them with a new one.

To hang the headboard, I used a French cleat. When I asked the guys at Home Depot which aisle they were on, they said “a French what?”! Ben said the only cleats he knew about were the ones on the bottom of his football shoes! I used a cleat because I was not about to hang this bad boy with D-rings. No way was I going to try and line those up straight. A cleat makes things so much easier because you can slide the headboard to the left and right until it’s in the right spot. This one even came with a little level on it, so we knew it was straight. It was $15 and well worth it! They come in different sizes, so you can use them to hang all kinds of things. I went with the 200# cleat because I didn’t want to take any chances of the headboard coming off the wall. It may not look it, but it is heavy!

Here’s the part of the cleat that went on the top of the headboard.

And here is Ben screwing the other part into the wall. It had these fancy screws with teeth around them, so you’re not supposed to use a drill. Luckily one of the screws went into a stud, so the headboard is not going anywhere!

Here’s how the back of the headboard turned out looking.

And here it is hung on the wall! So pretty! The drop cloth did have a seam down the middle of it, but I knew it would be hidden by the bed and pillows, so I was not worried about it.

Here it is all dressed up and ready for it’s debut!

Again, I’m in love! Doesn’t it look good with the shade fabric? I didn’t even plan that! I literally made the entire headboard, and the first time I saw the fabric in the room was when we hung it! I’m the kind of person who doesn’t even take paint swatches home to make sure they look good. I pick out my paint right on the spot, fabric too. It’s a blessing and a curse. I go with my gut, and it most always works out.

One more time…Before and After pic

And here was my little helper while I took pictures. She saw the headboard first thing when she woke up and said “ooooohhh, new pillow!”! So cute!

Here’s the cost break down:
Drop Cloth $10
Headboard $10
Batting $20
Nailheads $20
French Cleat $15
Grand Total $75

Not too shabby when stores are charging over $1000 for one of these!

Next up, I think I want to paint our bedside tables with chalk paint. I’m thinking ASCP Old White? What do you think?


Linking up to these fabulous parties!
Tatertots & Jello, Between Naps on the Porch, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Serenity Now, Mommy By Day Crafter By Night, The 36th Avenue, The DIY Showoff, Today’s Creative Blog, At the Picket Fence, Home Stories A to Z, Gingerbread, Remodelaholic, Thrifty Décor Chick, The CSI Project, Beneath my Heart, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Perfectly Imperfect